Homeschooling is never something that I had envisioned doing. To be honest, being a stay at home mom was never in my plans either, yet here I am! There are many reasons why parents might choose to homeschool. Maybe you would like to travel more. Maybe your child is having issues with bullying. Maybe you are like us and feel like the public school system, and its one-size-fits-all curriculum, just isn’t beneficial to your child. Whatever the reason, it is a major decision that will impact your family for years to come.
This year I was a newbie. I scoured the internet researching curriculum for almost two years trying to make the most educated decision I could. As a one income and fixed income family, wasting money on curriculum really isn’t ideal. Unfortunately, the biggest challenge I have come across in my first year of homeschooling was one that I couldn’t really research. It was brought on by my own experience in the public school system, mixed with what our society deems “normal”, as well as my own personal need to constantly meet deadlines and to-do lists.
This year, the biggest thing I have learned was to forget what society has taught me the past 26 years. By that, I mean that I am [still] in the process of learning that it is perfectly acceptable to go at each child’s individual pace. I am still learning that it is absolutely okay if we do not finish our curriculum by the end of our homeschool year and that it is perfectly okay to skip over some topics and elaborate on others. Even though the whole point of us homeschooling was to do things differently than the public school system, it was still incredibly challenging to actually accept our newly found freedom!
Some days I found myself literally in tears because our curriculum wanted us to finish (x) amount of pages in (x) amount of days and if we didn’t, I felt like I was failing. I grew impatient with my children simply because of my inability to realize that the curriculum is a mere guideline of what can be accomplished, not an enforced law that had to be followed exactly. Once I realized that, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I became more patient with our children and I feel like my son was able to concentrate better without his overbearing mother and her pressure of completion vs. true understanding.
It seems so simple, but honestly it has been the biggest game changer in our homeschool lives. Besides being a mother, wife, teacher, website tester, babysitter and blogger, I am also a graphic designer. In graphic design, the ability to meet deadlines is crucial. Being able to distinguish when deadlines are necessary, and when it is okay to relax will be the key to our homeschool success. I wish I would have learned this little tip towards the beginning of the year rather than at the end, but I guess late is better than never!
Today, I uploaded a new video to my Youtube channel that talks about what I have learned this year and also quickly reviews the curriculum we have purchased for the 2017-2018 school year. My son will be going into first grade this year and I am excited to have a fresh start with my new found knowledge. How was your homeschool year? Did you learn anything new as a teacher and mother? If so, I would love to hear about it!